A little bit of uplifting perspective is that there is plenty of open land around us. As one guy said at the meeting referring to 40 percent of the town, "You can take your dog anywhere and it can poop wherever it wants," and this is largely true. So I am not feeling totally defeated by this outcome.
The meeting itself lasted for nine hours. I had to present one of the articles as chairman of the town energy committee, asking for a positive vote in order for the town to expend the funds we received as part of a federal grant to do energy audits on the town's municipal buildings. I thought the Tea Party tone of the gathering might mean some hue and outcry at accepting the aid from Uncle Sam, and there was some grumbling as I left the microphone behind, but the article passed, thankfully.
Many of the towns in the southern third of the state have left the old town meetings behind, opting for a new system that allows people to vote for town warrants without having to attend a meeting. It is more convenient, but less conducive to feelings of community. There is something to be said for seeing much of the town's personalities, the good, the bad, and at Saturday's meeting, some of the ugly, all together in one place, at least once a year, conducting the messy process of democracy in all its amateur glory.